UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Signatures

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Model Law
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: New York, USA
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: N/A

Category

Contracts

Sub category

E-commerce

Groups

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What is it about?

The Model Law, adopted in 2001, is intended to bring additional legal certainty regarding the use of electronic signatures. Building on the flexible principle contained in article 7 of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce, it establishes a presumption that, where they meet certain criteria of technical reliability, electronic signatures shall be treated as equivalent to hand-written signatures. In establishing that presumption, the Model Law follows a technology-neutral approach and avoids favouring the use of any specific technical product. In addition, the Model Law establishes basic rules of conduct that may serve as guidelines for assessing possible responsibilities and liabilities that might bind upon the various parties involved in the electronic signature process: the signatory, the relying party and trusted third parties that might intervene in the signature process.

Why is it relevant?

The Model Law of 2001 aims to encourage the use of electronic signatures, and to provide them with the same treatment as paper signatures. It is technically neutral in the sense that it provides general principles that may be applied for various technical options.

Additional Information

As of 2003, only Thailand has adopted legislation founded on the model law.

  • Model Law on Electronic Commerce (UNCITRAL, 6 December 1996).

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